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1.4 Terminology

ONT: Optical Network Terminal

An ONT is a media converter that is installed by Verizon either outside or inside your premises, during FiOS installation.

The ONT converts fiber-optic light signals to copper/electric signals.
Three wavelengths of light are used between the ONT and the Optical Line Terminal:

    • 1310 nm voice/data transmit
    • 1490 nm voice/data receive
    • 1550 nm video receive

Each ONT is capable of delivering:
    • Multiple POTS (plain old telephone service) lines
    • Internet data
    • Video

For a list of various ONTs, see: »Verizon Online FiOS FAQ »What are the different models of ONTs?

Your existing inside wiring for telephone, internet and video are connected to the ONT during installation.

The following picture shows typical connections and status indicators at the ONT:


Click for full size
Click to enlarge
From left to right, RJ45 WAN connection, two POTS connections and coax connection


Video (except VOD) is always on coax

For MOCA capable ONTs. internet can be delivered over either coax or cat-5.

Verizon's standard residential installation is coax from the ONT to the STBs and router.



by drake See Profile edited by birdfeedr See Profile
last modified: 2011-12-31 07:25:16


Optical Splitters are located in a nearby Fiber Distrution Hub (FDH). Each splitter in the FDH takes one fiber from the OLT in the CO and splits the two downstream wavelengths to 16, 32 or 64 customers. Each splitter also takes the upstream wavelength from each customer drop and combines the signals into the signal fed back to the OLT.

Optical splitters come in 16, 32 and (future 64) user capacities.
BPON and GPON can not be mixed in the same splitter.



by drake See Profile edited by sashwa See Profile
last modified: 2012-09-06 17:56:20

In addition to your ONT, your service has a Battery Back-up Unit (BBU) that is located inside your garage or house. In case your ONT is accidentally unplugged or in the event of a commercial power failure your back-up battery will provide you with power for voice service for up to 8 hours.

by Kirby Smith See Profile edited by drake See Profile
last modified: 2005-10-17 01:48:50

FDH: Fiber Distribution Hub
They are the beige boxes (pole or pad mount), that contain the optical splitters.

Click for full size



by JTRockville See Profile edited by sashwa See Profile
last modified: 2012-09-06 17:59:01

FDT: Fiber Distribution Terminal
The black objects where the drops that go to individual houses are connected. The terminals can go on a pole or underground depending on how your utilities are delivered. Most are 4-port terminals but they do come in different sizes.


Click for full size

Aerial FDT


Please use the feedback link below only to suggest improvements to this FAQ. If you have questions about this FAQ, please post them in the »Verizon FiOS forum.

by JTRockville See Profile edited by More Fiber See Profile
last modified: 2011-05-20 20:14:28

The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA), www.mocalliance.org, is an open, industry driven initiative promoting networking of digital video and entertainment through existing coaxial cable in the home.

See »www.mocalliance.org/industry/cer···ucts.php for the complete list of MoCA products. Verizon supplied Actiontec MI424WR, and Motorola set top boxes (STB) are on the certified list.

by grobinette See Profile edited by birdfeedr See Profile
last modified: 2011-04-06 12:25:02

NID: Network Interface Device
A device that terminates copper pair from the serving central office at the user's destination and which is typically located outside that location.

In a FIOS installation with phone service, the installer will run a cable from the ONT to the NID in order to connect the POTS termination on the ONT to the existing inside wiring.


by drake See Profile edited by More Fiber See Profile
last modified: 2009-08-07 01:53:07

OLT: Optical Line Terminal
OLTs are located in Verizon's central switching office; this equipment serves as the point of origination for FTTP (Fiber-to-the-Premises) transmissions coming into and out of the national Verizon network.

An OLT, in a nutshell, is where the PON cards reside. The OLT's also contain the CPU and the GWR and VGW uplink cards. Each OLT can have a few or many dozens of PON cards.

PON = Passive Optical Network
GWR = Gateway Router
VGW = Voice Gateway

Each PON card transmits 1490nm laser data signal to the ONT, and receives the ONT transmission of the 1310nm laser data signal. The one-way 1550nm laser video signal to the ONT is injected into the fiber at the CO.

More details can be found by following links in this thread: »What exactly *is* an OLT?

by drake See Profile edited by birdfeedr See Profile
last modified: 2009-04-12 07:42:48

BPON: Broadband Passive Optical Network
GPON: Gigabit Passive Optical Network


FiOS networks are built upon Passive Optical Networks.

BPON conforms to the ITU-T G983.1 specification which is capable of 622 Mbps download and 155 Mbps upload. Each BPON fiber is split using an optical splitter to serve 16 or 32 users.

GPON conforms to the ITU-T G984.1 specification. Verizon's GPON implementation uses Gig-E instead of ATM that was used with BPON. A 2.4 Gbps download speed coupled with a 1.2 Gbps upload speed. Each GPON fiber is split to serve 16 or typically 32 users. Verizon's next phase of GPON will support 64 users per fiber.

Verizon is building new networks with GPON technology, while existing BPON systems will only be upgraded when capacity limits are reached.



by birdfeedr See Profile edited by More Fiber See Profile
last modified: 2011-05-20 20:22:54


PON: Passive Optical Network

A passive optical network (PON) is a point-to-multipoint, fiber to the premises (FTTP) network architecture in which unpowered optical splitters are used to enable a single optical fiber to serve multiple premises. A PON consists of an Optical Line Terminal (OLT) at the Central Office (CO) and a number of Optical Network Terminals (ONTs)at customer premesis. A PON configuration reduces the amount of fiber and central office equipment required compared with point to point architectures.

Downstream signals are broadcast to each premises sharing a single fiber. Encryption is used to prevent eavesdropping.

Upstream signals are combined using a multiple access protocol, such as Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA).

See also: »Verizon Online FiOS FAQ »What is BPON or GPON?


Please use the feedback link below only to suggest improvements to this FAQ. If you have questions about this FAQ, please post them in the »Verizon FiOS forum.

by More Fiber See Profile


Q. What is a STB?

A. STB stands for Set Top Box.


A STB converts the encrypted cable signal to clear QAM signals that can be received by your TV. It provides a platform for Verizon's Interactive Media Guide (IMG). A STB may also include a Digital Video Recorder (DVR).



by More Fiber See Profile